Cover Story: Metal Protection

Congregation Gives Thanks for Church’s New Metal Roof in Bellingham, Washington

by Dale Walton, manager, residential product marketing, CertainTeed Roofing Division

The Church of the Assumption has been a pillar in the community of Bellingham, Washington, for 129 years. After time and weather had taken a toll on the church’s aging roof, the church opted for a new Matterhorn® metal roof from CertainTeed®. The church commemorated the occasion with a roof blessing ceremony during its annual parish celebration.

         Church parishioners were thankful for the new roof and appreciated the hard work the team from Esary Roofing and Siding Co. Inc., Burlington, Washington, put into it.  The children of the parish got a close look at the roof’s transformation and showed their appreciation to the roofing team in their own way with cards and drawings for the contractors.

         One card read: “Thank you for fixing the church roof.  Now we can have dry masses.”  Another card read: “Thank you for being there every morning and night through rain or shine to fix our roof.”  Karen Zuther, parish administrator for the Church of the Assumption, described the roof blessing as a positive experience for the children, and it taught them the importance of hard work and taking pride in their surroundings.  “The metal roof will protect the church for a long time to come, thanks to its durability,” she said.  “This isn’t just someone’s house.  We won’t be selling this. We’ll be handing this off to the next generation, so we wanted it to last.”

         CertainTeed’s Matterhorn metal roofing is both impact and wind resistant, allowing it to withstand some of the most extreme types of weather, including hail, strong winds, and lightning. While the average lifespan of a typical roof is 25-30 years, metal roofing can last 50 years or more without the upkeep and maintenance that most natural roofing materials require. Popular roofing materials like slate and shake can be susceptible to moss and algae growth. Metal roofing’s longevity also makes it a sound investment, so it frequently comes with lower insurance premiums and stronger warranties.

         Having a metal roof also means the church can look forward to energy savings. According to the United States Department of Energy, air conditioners use about 6% of all the electricity produced in the United States, at an annual cost of about $29 billion. Many metal roofs, like the one installed on the church, utilize cool roof colors that reflect sunlight and decrease rooftop temperatures by as much as 50º-70º Fahrenheit. That means less energy is needed to keep the church comfortable during the warm summer months.

         There is often a misconception that metal roofing only belongs on barns and farmhouses, but the versatility of stamped-panel metal roofing opens a world of design possibilities. The church chose a style that mimics the aesthetics of slate roofing, but it is significantly lighter and easier to maintain than slate.  “We are so pleased with the new look of our church roof,” said Reverend K. Scott Connolly. “It blends in so well with the beauty of our building and enhances the aesthetic for which we had hoped.”  

         The new roof met all of the church’s needs and presented additional advantages that made the switch to metal roofing an easy choice. Zuther said the church has received numerous comments about how beautiful the new roof is. Metal roofing gave the church the aesthetic that the members were looking for while offering the protection the landmark needed to continue being a pillar of the community.  “We’ve been here for one hundred years, and with this roof we plan to maintain this building for the next hundred,” said Zuther.

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